The Coin Magician’s Dream, photo art by Steven Carlson
In the art of close-up-magic, coin magic easily finds its place toward the top of the most challenging skills.
Coins, along with playing cards, are the primary objects in the close-up magician’s repertoire.
Historically coins predate playing cards by a good three to four thousand years.
Coins were first introduced as a method of payment around the 6th or 5th century BC and have been in the magician’s bag of tricks ever since.
In the magician’s hands coins appear, vanish and multiply. They magically move from place to place or from hand to hand, visibly and invisibly. Coins change from sliver to copper and even grow in size. The possibilities of magic with coins is limitless.
Coin magic relies upon the intricate dexterity of the artist. Dexterous skills acquired through years of practice, training and performance.
A master sleight of hand artist’s technique is never seen. To the audience it is invisible. These graceful methodologies lie gently hidden beneath the surface of natural movements and gestures. Only then does the coin magic appear effortless and impossible.
My name is Steven Paul Carlson, I have been practicing magic since I was 6 years old and I have been performing magic professionally for over 40 years.
So sit back and relax and enjoy the magical ride.
Oh, and please, fasten your seat belts. 😉
Photo & art credits:
Coin and photo art by Steven Paul Carlson, portrait photo by Nick Olson
Sleight of Hand Artist, Steven Carlson, performing his elegant style of close-up magic for guests at the beautiful Forepaugh’s Restaurant in St. Paul, MN. The magic event was on Halloween night, a tribute the great escape artist, Harry Houdini.
in 1899 Houdini’s career was going nowhere and he was seriously contemplating retirement from entertainment. But his big break came in St. Paul, MN at the Palm Garden beer hall, (less than a half mile away from the Forepaugh’s mansion) when he met manager Martin Beck. Beck, impressed with Houdini’s handcuff act, advised Houdini to concentrate on the escapes and booked him on the Orpheum vaudeville circuit. The rest is history.
Houdini died on Halloween in 1926 he was 52.
This is my dream studio. Someday, with a little luck and fortune, that will be where I hang my hat and create 😉
Antiquity of the Soul – Pastel 16” x 20”
One can see and feel the history etched into this man’s face and antiquity its-self reflecting in his eyes. I had great fun painting the bright colored head cloth with its intricate patterns, wrinkles and folds juxtaposed with his face and the similar intricate patterns. This is one of my all time favorite portraits.
I met an individual at an art show who was from this part of the world. He told me that the head wrap they wear, the colors and patterns, tells you what region the person is from. Fascinating!
Fa’er•ie gnomé or fa’er•y gnomé n
Pronounced fair-ee nohm
May the reader bear in mind, the information offered here regarding these very shy and illusive creatures, is based on only a small number of sightings since the history of the “big folk” began to be documented. Sightings of Faeriegnome dwellings are fortunately a little more common. Both these sources and recent archaeological discoveries help to provide us with our current knowledge of the Faeriegnome folk, their temperament, attributes and customs.
Faeriegnomes are ancient creatures, tiny, quiet and shy by nature. They were believed to be of simple gnome ancestry but they predate even the earliest gnomish records. They are much smaller than a gnome, but larger than the leaf faerie.
Faeriegnome architecture is known for its clever construction and unique creativity.
The unique coalescence of both the Fae and Gnome bloodlines seems to account for their vast magical abilities, their immeasurable ingenuity and ancient wisdom. It also explains their extreme diminutive size. The size of the average adult male, by their standard of measurement, would be about 54 to 63 digits or fingers, which would be about 2.5 to 5 cm or 1 to 2 inches tall.
Writings predating antiquity indicate Faeriegnomes were a part of the Great Earth Caretakers. Their ability to travel extremely long distances enabled them to keep a watchful eye on the delicate balances of nature. Assisting them in these earthly stewardship responsibilities were their ever present, always faithful walking sticks, ‘Astar’, as they call them. The wood of the astar was from a tree, bush or plant of unknown origin. Interestingly, the astar continued its growth despite being separated from the root. In fact, it had to be regularly pruned or it would quickly outgrow its owner! Ordinarily the astar was quite plain, but on occasion a particularly creative and fastidious Faeriegnome might adorn it with a little silver, gold, gems or even seashells.
The Harp Faerie, as she has been affectionately nicknamed, and like its pair Faerie I, feature the Matrifaerie, a mature, dignified and sophisticated faerie captured here while creating upon the woodland harp. The woodland harp, unlike any other musical instrument, is a living entity. It grows from out of the ground, blossoming and even bearing fruit. Its gossamer, web-like strings produce a sound that few are able to hear. Only the truly ingenuous spirit can perceive its atmospheric musical air. Sylvan dwellers are drawn to the magical recital and a rare, ethereal appearance from a musical muse can be seen if you look quickly.
The artistic and musical collaboration of Steven & Patricia inspired this beautiful title song which appears on Mrs. Carlson’s Creative Harp CD ‘Woodland Opus’.
India – pastel 16” x 20”
This stunning face still captivates me; it was an absolutely wonderful portrait to paint. It is one of those rare pieces of my own art that actually hangs in my house. 😉
The textures here also intrigued me; the necklace, the embroidery on her clothing and then creating the sheer effect of the veil.
Like the Viking portrait this too is rendered with pastels. It’s an intricate layering technique using different pastels with a final detail finish of pastel pencil. This layering process gives the portrait an oil painting, oil glaze look.
There are no prints of this work only the original.